Black East Indian

Breed Rating (3 reviews)



As American breeder and judge Darrel Sherow wrote in his 1990 book, 'The East Indie Duck', there is no breed of domestic duck whose origin is so shrouded in mystery that that of the East Indie. It was first written about in the USA in the early 1800s and the UK from the 1830s so it has been in existence some time. It could have been developed from a northern Mallard sport though others favour the explanation that the black gene may have arrived via the American black duck. Whatever the explanation, due to it's striking plumage it became a firm favourite on the show bench. It does share it's colour with the Cayuga which was developed in North America. The striking black plumage is overlaid with a glossy, beetle- green sheen and there should not be any white feathers in sight although older females may develop some. The aim is for a solid colour. The bill and legs are black and the the eyes dark brown.


It is an excellent flier and rather flighty and many consider it a good idea to view it management wise as a semi wild fowl rather than the domestic duck of its classification. It's not a good egg layer so it is kept for ornament and for exhibition which doesn't make it a back yard bird or smallholding choice. Interestingly the first eggs that it does lay can be covered in a sooty black deposit but as time goes on they will be a uniform dull white. It needs access to water to keep its plumage perfect and if you want to breed, keep as a trio or pair.


It is a bantam classification and comes in only the one spectacular colour.



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Latest Reviews For Black East Indians (3 of 3)

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           (Based on 3 reviews)

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           Very beautiful, very hardy

- Catali, 09 September 2014

These were our first ducks and have only ever been a delight and never a problem. Exceptionally beautiful, they are definitely an ornamental breed only. The laying period is only two months of the year (usually may/june). I did try the eggs but they are, even for a duck egg, too strong to be pleasant. They don't like to be picked up so we only handle them when necessary but they have only ever been aggressive when sitting or protecting ducklings. The drakes are hugely attentive towards the ducks/ducklings and the group has an obviously strong bond, regularly chasing off my chickens when they get too close. We have never had any health problems and mostly leave them to get on with their own devices with as little interference as possible. This also seems to be the best strategy when it comes to breeding, and when left alone they have proved great mums. One even adopted a wild mallard orphan duckling someone had brought to us.

           Not for beginners

- Griffiths, 14 May 2014

Black East Indies are beautiful ducks but they are not a beginners breed at all. I would recommend that the Black East Indies is kept in a similar manner to wild species of ducks. They need time, patience and experience to keep happy. The drakes are defensive and the ducks not terribly friendly, neither gender is a good choice for a young family. However for experienced poultry keepers this is a smashing bantam duck with bags of character.

           Pretty but Aggressive

- Amy, 17 April 2014

Searched for a breeding pair of these for ages, found the male very aggressive towards me, my other animals and my other ducks. Layed very few eggs. Don't make good domestic ducks.

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